Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, Ricardo Amils, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, William M. Irvine, Daniele L. Pinti, Michel Viso

Electron Transport

  • Francisco MonteroEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-11274-4_499



Electron carriers, photosynthesis, redox reactions, respiration


Electron transport refers to the transfer of electrons from an initial donor (reducing substance) to a final acceptor (oxidizing substance) across different intermediaries, which takes place in biological membranes. Electron transport processes are usually associated with respiratory and photosynthetic processes.


The most common ways by which living organisms obtain energy from their surroundings is by the  oxidation of external electron donors (chemotrophic organisms), or by the absorption of electromagnetic radiation (phototrophic organisms). In both cases, the energy translation mechanisms take place in membranes (the cytoplasmic membranes in the case of prokaryotes, or subcellular particles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts in the case of eukaryotes). In the translation process, an electron transport takes place from a substance, which is an initial  e...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Nelson DL, Cox MM (2005) Lehninger principles of biochemistry, 4th edn. W.H. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Nicholls DG, Ferguson SJ (2002) Bioenergetics, 3rd edn. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Voet D, Voet JG (2004) Biochemistry, 3rd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. White D (1999) The physiology and biochemistry of prokaryotes, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology IFacultad de Ciencias Químicas Universidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain